Sunday, July 28, 2013

Donut Falls 07-28-2013

Shari and I found a hike that was short enough and easy enough for her to complete and that was Donut Falls, located about 12 miles from the apartment.  It is basically a 9 mile drive from the base of the canyon and you hang a right once you get to Trail Head D.  You travel down a paved road for about 3/4ths of a mile before it turns to dirt.  If you are lucky, you'll find a parking spot (we were), otherwise you have to drive back to the main road and walk the 1 mile to the trail head.

The trail is well marked and fairly easy.  It is root-filled with some jagged rocks, but I felt you could easily run it as well.  There were a few sections were it wasn't 100% clear where to go but the path is well traveled and there were plenty of people to ask.

It was about a half mile walk to the falls -- and it felt longer than .5 miles.  When we got there it was filled with people -- so if you are looking for a quiet area to relax you probably won't find it here.

You can climb the falls to actually see the hole where the water goes through the rocks into a grotto before trickling down the side of the cliff.  At first I didn't want to do it on account that it is simply pretty dangerous.  One false step and you are going down and it is going to hurt.  Also there is no cell phone connection so if you did fall, someone would have to go back to the main road just to make a cell phone call to get help... not a good situation.

However, being an intrepid blogger that I am (and also seeing a bunch of adults and kids scrambling up the rocks) I decided to brave it.  Going up was a LOT easier than going down and you really have to forgo keeping your shoes dry...

Either way this was a great, short hike...

Enjoy the photos:

Start of the trail

Part of the trail

The Falls

People climbing the falls

The grotto where the water goes

The hole at the top where the water flows through

View from the top

View from the top

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

West Wendover Trip 07-23-2013

With Pioneer Day upon us here in Utah I decided to take 07-24-2013 off and head to Wendover.  I have a floating day off at my new job and decided to take advantage of it.  Montego Bay had a free room for us (and a free buffet and some free play) so Shari and I decided to take advantage of it.

I left work at 4pm and arrived by 6:15.  We got our room, printed out a buffet coupon.  I placed a bet in game #2 of the San Francisco / Reds game (and proceeded to lose).  However, the buffet was good -- especially since one of them was for free.

Shari and I had a run of bad luck though and we never really did particularly well in any of the slot machines.  Shari blew through her allotment in one night and I wasn't having much fun gambling (although the food was yummy).  I gave Shari one last $5 and she proceeded to turn it in $50.

We headed back to Montego Bay after hitting the Peppermill and she needed some Tums.  So she went to the gift store to buy Tums.  When she proceed to pay, she realized that the money was missing.  Our theory is that when we got to Montego Bay (or sometime before that) when she opened her purse that the money fell out.  We never did find it.  It ruined the night for Shari.

I woke up early on Wednesday and went for an 8 mile run.  I decided to climb the mountain / hill just west of town -- risking rattlesnakes to get some awesome shots of the valley / city.  I also sat in the jacuzzi afterwards and relaxed for a while -- so I definitely took advantage of the amenities that Montego Bay had to offer.

On Wednesday we gambled some more, but our luck continued to go south.  We ate breakfast / lunch at the buffet, got some gas and took off.  The trip home was uneventful.

We plan on going back for Clint Black in early September and I am sure we'll make another quick run out there between then and now.

Enjoy the photos:

Everything I ate for the buffet dinner

To the West of West Wendover

The trail I ran on.

Breakfast dessert

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Legacy Midnight Half Marathon Race Review

Last year, I ran a half marathon up in Farmington, Utah.  It was called the Legacy Midnight Half Marathon.  It starts somewhere in north Salt Lake City in an industrial, sort of yucky area of the bike trail and heads north to Farmington.

While the race starts at 10pm, it is called a Midnight run.  Basically, you are running on the bike trail with nothing but glow sticks (that you carry) for light.  I've run their races before and I had a head lamp from the 2011 Las Vegas Marathon so for night races I always bring it.  I don't necessarily wear it 100% of the time, but it is there when I need it.

Last year, I ran the race in 1:39.  It was probably the best race I had in terms of performance all year despite having to stop twice to because I came to junctions on the bike trail.  They really didn't have it well marked last year and I wrote a letter to them.  This year, the course markings were much better!

I arrived at 8pm, got my swag and around 8:45 jumped on a school bus that drove us to North Salt Lake.  It dropped us off a little after 9 and at that point you have to sit around in what looks like a rock quarry for about an hour.  I brought mosquito repellent because last year I was eaten alive -- this year -- not so much.

I felt pretty good even though my running hasn't been particularly going well.  Whether it is a lack of training, too many marathons, over training, or father time taking another hit at me.  I had eaten a nice stack of pancakes before commencing the race and I figured by the 10pm start time that they would've passed through -- no such luck.  They sort of just hung in my gut...  While I wasn't stuffed, I didn't feel light.

The race started promptly at 10pm and it was dark.  There were a good 300+ runners there and it was exciting to see everyone decked out in costume and blinking lights.  I locked into an 8 minute per mile pace and managed to hang onto that for about 6 miles.  There weren't any mile markers on the course and my Garmin wasn't beeping every mile, so I was checking in to see how far into the race I was.

I was mostly running solo but did hang with a girl for a mile or two.  I want to say I reached the 10K mark at about 50 minutes -- right on target.  However, once I crossed the 10K mark, my performance started to tank.  I haven't studied my Garmin to see how bad I was off but it was getting warm and the stomach full of pancakes started to make me wonder if I was going to hurl.

The last 5 miles or so felt like a crawl, but it was sort of rewarding to pass the 10K / 5K runners who were marking the return trip.  I did discover that the air temperature was in the mid 70's -- while the sun wasn't baking me, it was certainly warm.  I didn't have any problems on the trail -- as I knew the course and the beautiful bike trail was really charming to run down.  It hugs the Legacy Freeway (215) so sometimes the approaching cars were blinding.

I crossed the finish line in 1:49.  I wasn't happy with my time.  There really wasn't any water at the end and I had to go into a building, make my way through a crowd to get some powerade -- which I chugged down (it was good and cold).  It took a long time for my stomach to settle (for a while I was afraid I was going to pass out).

I was 22nd place overall in the males, and 4th in my age division -- so sadly no extra hardware.  I missed that by about 90 seconds.  I was really disappointed in my run -- while I had a fantastic time and the course was accurate, I was really hoping to go sub 1:45.

I hung around until nearly 1AM talking with a woman I had met at a race last year, ate some FatBoy ice creams, cotton candy and made sure I was properly hydrated before taking off.  I had a pleasant drive home.  Unfortunately, I didn't feel particularly well in the morning and felt like I was hung over for most of the day -- probably because I was up early and slept poorly....

Enjoy the photos.
Me, feeling good before the race.

Cool shirt

Neon Party afterwards

Neon Party afterwards

Me post race - my stomach finally settled.

This cool medal blinks with flashing red lights.Very cool

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Alta Part 2 - 07-14-2013

Today I decided to go up to Cecret Lake for the 3rd week in a row.  It is an easy hike.  I started off by being smart and taking the shuttle to the trail head.  We then climbed to the lake, hung around and fed a greedy chipmunk chunks of a Cliff Bar and then headed back.

Instead of taking the shuttle back, we took the trail back to the parking lot.  It was mostly downhill and the flowers around Catherine's Point were blooming like crazy.  I think this is going to be about the last week of flowers.  Last year I had arrived a week or two, too late and only got a glimpse of what the talk of the town was all about.  This year I got the full spectrum of flowers...

Enjoy the photos.

Me at Cecret Lake

Mr Chipmunk Happy with a Cliff Bar

Heading down from Cecret Lake

Albion Meadow Trail